NEW York-based department store Macy's and clothing giant Gap reported December same-store sales that topped analysts' estimates after shoppers took advantage of last-minute discounts.
Sales at Macy's, the second-biggest US department-store company, rose 4.1pc, exceeding the average projection of 3.7pc from analysts surveyed by researcher Retail Metrics.
Gap, the largest US specialty-clothes retailer, posted a 5pc gain, topping the 3.6pc estimate.
Retailers lured shoppers with late-December specials after Hurricane Sandy, the presidential election and the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, tempered spending.
"In our store visits, we did not see overly heavy inventories on the floor, or what we would judge as excessive markdowns," Mike Baker, an analyst at Deutsche Bank wrote in a report.
Same-store sales for the more than 20 companies tracked by Massachusetts-based Retail Metrics were estimated to rise 3.4pc, excluding drugstores.
Kohl's, the third-largest US department store chain, reported a 3.4pc rise in same-store sales, compared with a average projection for a 1.3pc gain.
Nordstrom, the Seattle-based chain of department stores, posted a 8.6pc increase in same-store sales last month, beating the 3.6pc estimate. (Bloomberg)